Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation

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mourningdove

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2016, 01:23:53 AM »
That's interesting about your dissociation being involuntary Mourningdove - made me ask if that was the case for me in the past and it was.  It's really  since I've learned about dissociating and have been working on it and on my Inner Child that it's feeling like more of a choice.  That's kind of interesting and hopeful when you think about it, an "If you name it you can tame it" kind of thing.


That's really good to know, Kizzie. It makes me hopeful to learn that it used to feel involuntary and now it doesn't. So thank you for that and great job getting to that point  :yes:

And I too would be okay with spending a little longer on each chapter, if that's possible.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2016, 03:24:28 AM »
One chapter a week is a quite a lot for me too.
How about a chapter + homeworksheet one week, the following week discussion/sharing (and continuing doing the exercises. Pfew, those take up time and energy as well!), then the next chapter, etc.?

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no_more_fear

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2016, 06:04:35 PM »
Hi everyone,

Yeah I'd prefer spending longer on each chapter myself, so just leave the chapter two questions until the start of next week? Does that sound okay? As you've all mentioned there's a lot to take in, so I think it'd be better to spend a bit longer on each section.

Loving having this discussion-really helps to know that I'm not alone. Thanks again everyone.  :thumbup:

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2016, 06:31:54 PM »
Yeah I'd prefer spending longer on each chapter myself, so just leave the chapter two questions until the start of next week? Does that sound okay?
:thumbup:

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Loving having this discussion-really helps to know that I'm not alone. Thanks again everyone.  :thumbup:
Ditto. To all of you here.  :hug:

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2016, 12:34:15 PM »
OK, here are my thoughts:

1.   Notice and write down what may and may not fit your experience.

Now it feels like there is more of a fluidity to me.  Things might stop me in my tracks for a bit (someone says something hurtful), but instead of my IC breaking down, she feels it, but so does my older self who knows I donít deserve that, soothes her and tells her the person is wrong.  Like weíre working more as a Team.
Wow. Color me jealous.  :thumbup:
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2.   Notice and write down any thoughts, emotions, concerns, fears, questions, or other experiences that come to your mind.

I remember when I first started into the book I did NOT want to work on it because I liked to dissociate. [Ö] My IC was NOT happy about the idea of giving it up.
I have this when boozing. That's the only time I'm conscious I'm dissociating. I know I do dissociate at other times, but have yet to get awareness of it 'in the present'. I hardly even know 'after the fact'.
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I also stopped berating myself if I dissociated Ė I lived through a lot by doing it, it kept me safe so it wasnít and isnít a bad thing per se. Nowadays though I see it as maybe keeping me learning to trust myself to handle things.  And more importantly, by not being present I am missing a lot of good things.  Thatís very enticing.
Very encouraging. Thanks for sharing. 
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No More Fear - I think working through this together is going to be really helpful.  Knowing I am in good company makes it all the easier to face.
Ditto.  :thumbup:

And when I feel the pull nowadays I say, "Can I stay present and work through this or do I need to go away?"  It gives me more control, I give myself permission to go if things are too much (and there are times when they are), or I can stay and try to work through it.
Wow. Color me jealous, again.  ;D  :thumbup:
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 01:01:08 PM by Dutch Uncle »

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2016, 12:48:16 PM »
Notice and write down what may and may not fit into your experience.
Almost all of my integrative experience was altered to fit the dissociative stance which developed strongly during my formative years as a reaction to the abuse/abusers. People and everyday situations remain formidable, and I tend to stay in my 'acting bubble' to feel safe.
If you don't mind me saying so, but I think that's a pretty awesome quality. Safety First. For me one of the pitfalls of cPTSD is the constant danger-seeking, the craving for 'stress', the DramaCreating. I often talk about DramaMama and DramaSis, but I'm capable of creating some of my own as well. (Though nothing to the extend they do. I think.  ;) )
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Notice and write down any thoughts, emotions, concerns, fears,questions or other experiences that come to mind.
Then I recall an acronism I use for it; take the letters f-e-a-r and think of them as 'fantasy expressed as reality'. I already imagine what the outcome might be. Exampleómeeting someone new, my mind hones in on my 'escape/exit' plan, as I still assume all people represent extreme danger; my 'fantasy made reality'.
I like the Acronym.  :thumbup:  I'll keep that in mind next time I feel fear. Thanks.
I wondered, is the experience you describe tied to "catastrophizing"?

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Notice if you tend to want to avoid the topic, and if so, how you avoid. So it's push/pull as to how far I'd want to venture away from having built an ideal dissociative environment to which I can always escape.
Venture out with baby steps, dear Woodsgnome.  :thumbup:
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 01:10:21 PM by Dutch Uncle »

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no_more_fear

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2016, 12:52:21 PM »
Hi morningdove,

Thanks for taking part, really appreciate it. I hope going through this process helps you as much as it is me.

You mentioned dissociation being perhaps a choice. It definitely isnít for me. Large portions of my day are taken up with right and left brain dissociation and I also catch myself staring off into space a lot-that happens when Iím highly stressed. For example I find dinner a very tough time because Iím reminded of the times when I had dinner with my NM. I constant have to keep snapping back to reality and I also start scanning the items in the room now  (Kizzieís advice) to remind me where I am. Have you ever tried to interrupt dissociation yourself?

You said this-  ĎBut I also have a part that vehemently insists that I don't have any parts at all(!). And when that part is active, everything is very stressful and confusing.í

I really identify with that. I completely understand how when that part is active things are stressful and confusing. I too found it hard to accept that I have separate parts, but that confusion you talk about is, at least in my case, the cause of the stress and confusion. I think itís because that part is arguing with the rest of you. Donít tell it to shut-up or try to force it to comply with the rest of you, try dialoguing with that part of you in a safe place and understand their motivations. By acknowledging and starting to accept that Iím fragmented Iíve felt the internal struggle ease ever-so-slightly. Accepting that Iím fragmented has helped reduce the amount of shame I feel about being me, as well. The internal struggle is my number one symptom. Would you say itís yours? Itís pure * living in this way: parts of meís actions dictated by which stage of development theyíre living in. As the book says, at a later point, most internal chaos ensues when thereís disagreement between parts. I used to have a near-constant war waging inside.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2016, 12:53:34 PM »
I'm reading through it myself and feel quite overwhelmed with it all. It's like a war inside of me- one part wanting to race through it so that I can get better and the other side saying it's all too much and I need to slow it down.
Oh yes, I relate.  :yes:

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no_more_fear

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2016, 01:05:39 PM »
Thank you, it helps immeasurably to know that someone understands. Thanks again.  :hug:

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Kizzie

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2016, 07:44:41 PM »
I was thinking about the idea of feeling like there is a war inside you No More Fear and I can relate although mine was a bit different from what you're describing.  When I started working on dissociation I was also trying out some pot for pain relief from my Osteoarthritis (then it was quasi legal, now I have a prescription).  I didn't know much about what strains to try and it ended up that the ones I tried had THC, the psychoactive ingredient and when I smoked I had the weirdest reaction.  My Inner Advocate/Nurturer and my Inner Critic had this tug of war.  One second I would feel quite positive and the next all this fear would well up, then back to reason and calm, then into this stream of negativity, back and forth.   I stopped using pot until I was able to see a knowledgeable physician who prescribed a strain high in the medicinal ingredient CBD with little or no THC.  I don't have the same reaction now thankfully. 

Now that I do know more about dissociating I think that the tug of war feeling had to do with two of my parts being more separate from one another than they are now and the pot amplified that (much like I am concerned deeper meditation might).  It felt like psychically I was being tugged in two different directions the entire time the pot was in my system.  I used to get that before without any pot now that I think about it, when I was stressed, ill, tired, having an EF .....    Over time the parts have become less distinct, and nowadays what I do experience feels more like a general conversation in the background, a mulling over of pros and cons versus a tug of war. 

All this is to say that taking  time to understand and gradually shift away from dissociating seems like a good idea, maybe even a necessary approach so that we don't become overwhelmed.

 :hug:
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 09:49:39 PM by Kizzie »

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mourningdove

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2016, 05:42:21 AM »
I'm reading through it myself and feel quite overwhelmed with it all. It's like a war inside of me- one part wanting to race through it so that I can get better and the other side saying it's all too much and I need to slow it down.
Oh yes, I relate.  :yes:

Me too. :)

You mentioned dissociation being perhaps a choice. It definitely isnít for me. Large portions of my day are taken up with right and left brain dissociation and I also catch myself staring off into space a lot-that happens when Iím highly stressed. For example I find dinner a very tough time because Iím reminded of the times when I had dinner with my NM. I constant have to keep snapping back to reality and I also start scanning the items in the room now  (Kizzieís advice) to remind me where I am. Have you ever tried to interrupt dissociation yourself?

I have at times been able to lessen the sense of disconnection during depersonalization and derealization by using various strategies like essential oils, music, herbal tea, etc. to stimulate my senses and thus make me feel more grounded. I have also been able to get grounded at times using the technique of finding a certain amount of colors in the environment, such as finding three red things, three blue things, three green things, etc. I learned that from my T and the first time I tried it alone, I had a thought/feeling from my child parts that said, "Ooh, we like this game!!!" That made me really happy. Those are the resources that I have so far, but I often don't remember them.

that confusion you talk about is, at least in my case, the cause of the stress and confusion. I think itís because that part is arguing with the rest of you.

Yes! That's exactly it. I know it must be trying to protect me/us, but this causes much stress and confusion because I/we have reached a point at which it is more helpful to acknowledge all parts and think in terms of a collective.

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By acknowledging and starting to accept that Iím fragmented Iíve felt the internal struggle ease ever-so-slightly.

This has been my experience, too, but only recently, and the part that doesn't want me to have parts is really digging in its heels on this. Honestly, I feel crazier at this point when I have to pretend that I don't have a bunch of parts at odds with one another, and that's what this part wants me to do. In fairness, especially because that part is not so prominent at the moment, I need to say that I love that part for doing its best to keep us safe. But it's crazy-making when, because of that part, I feel like I've made it all up - that it was all just my imagination. Because it isn't. And I've done a lot of hard work just to get to this point, where I can have an understanding of what has been really going on inside. And I feel like this is the only way I will ever heal. But I'm not so good at inner dialogue yet.

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The internal struggle is my number one symptom. Would you say itís yours?

It's difficult for me to say, because I have significant depersonalization and derealization so regularly. I'm not sure if some days or weeks are less of a tug-o-war than others, in terms of internal struggle, or if it's sometimes covered up. Because the part that doesn't want me to have parts is very strong and can make it hard to feel the presence of the others.

But when I can feel them clearly, it's often very difficult to make decisions, as they have different preferences. It's hard to get through the day like that - though I have been getting better at it, I think. But there are times when I have found myself doing things like [some relatively tame examples, though I have others:] turning the car around over and over, or not being able to decide on what to eat, and being stuck, and thinking about it, until eventually, I'm watching myself make something to eat as if I'm watching a movie, and thinking, "Oh, okay, so THAT's what we're going to eat." It's all very confusing sometimes...

Thank you so much, no_more_fear. It's really great to be able to talk about all this.  :hug:

« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 06:05:20 AM by mourningdove »

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no_more_fear

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2016, 02:58:08 PM »
I didn't know much about what strains to try and it ended up that the ones I tried had THC, the psychoactive ingredient and when I smoked I had the weirdest reaction.  My Inner Advocate/Nurturer and my Inner Critic had this tug of war.  One second I would feel quite positive and the next all this fear would well up, then back to reason and calm, then into this stream of negativity, back and forth.   I stopped using pot until I was able to see a knowledgeable physician who prescribed a strain high in the medicinal ingredient CBD with little or no THC.  I don't have the same reaction now thankfully. 

Now that I do know more about dissociating I think that the tug of war feeling had to do with two of my parts being more separate from one another than they are now and the pot amplified that (much like I am concerned deeper meditation might).  It felt like psychically I was being tugged in two different directions the entire time the pot was in my system.  I used to get that before without any pot now that I think about it, when I was stressed, ill, tired, having an EF .....    Over time the parts have become less distinct, and nowadays what I do experience feels more like a general conversation in the background, a mulling over of pros and cons versus a tug of war.

 :hug:

Kizzie, what a frightening experience with the pot. I remember last summer I had a couple of draws of a joint and felt a huge rush of fear-like the pot you had it must have been high in THC. So glad that you've got one that's more suitable because if you experienced what I did that time it would have been truely awful.  :hug:

I don't know if you would relate to this, but what you described sounds very similar to my experience when I take nicotine losenges. When I have a lozenge it's like my emotional brain (the right-side) takes over somewhat. When I've not been taking one for around half an hour I switch back to the rational (left-side) of my brain. People often say that nicotine isn't strong enough to have such an effect, but I have a very complicated relationship with it. My NM's father, who she adored and who died when she was young, smoked. I, in my young mind thought that if I smoked I'd be more like him and she'd therefore love me.  I've been taking nicotine in one form or another for 15 years and even though I know it's making things worse, I can't seem to get off it. It's like without the nicotine I can't utilise the emotional side of my brain at all, and I don't want to lose that ability. When I switch from emotional to rational it's not exactly a tug of war, the tug of war happens when there are decisions to be made, even the most basic decisions, so I guess that would relate to what you said about it happening when you're stressed or in an EF.

It gives me real hope to read about your experience. Thank you for being a part of this.  :hug:

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no_more_fear

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #42 on: February 21, 2016, 03:59:10 PM »
Hi morningdove,

Sorry it's taken me a couple of days to reply. I went out on Friday night and it was quite tough, so I needed yesterday to recover  :stars:

You're doing really well  :yourock: You understand so much in regards to this and I don't mind admitting I'm a little jealous!

Funny you mention using music, oils etc when trying to stay present. I have a nature soundtrack on in the background all day which really helps with that. That's fantastic that your child part was so happy with the staying present game.  :thumbup: I'm sure that was one * of an amasing feeling. Thinking about it, I think depersonaisation is my real problem and I should try more to tackle it. When I feel my level of depersonalisation decrease my leg starts to feel better and I walk with more balance. Shame is huge for me and one of the reasons I constantly stumble.  I don't often remember the techniques I've learned to help with that kind of thing, either, so I completely understand.

You talk about acknowledging all parts and thinking in terms of a collective, which is exactly the right aproach. :thumbup: The difficulty for me at present is that one of my parts won't speak to me. That part of me, that is roughy 16/17 years old, is extremely annoyed with me that I became in contact with my FOO again. You see I got out, I moved away when I was 18, but then I got in contact with them again. That part of me feels as if I abandoned them, which I did. It's like Pete Walker says, an abandonment of consciousness. I became a chid again in order to stay i contact with my FOO. That part of me wants me to prove I'm trustworthy again before dialoguing directly with me. As yet and I can only sense that parts needs and wants on a very basic level. Have you been able to communicate with the part of you that refuses to accept the division of your personality? I was just wondering, do you ever find yourself believing that you don't have parts? It's great that you see that that part of you was only ever trying to keep you safe; that is exactly the thing to say to yourself and will ultimmately help you progrees more rapidly in recovery because it means you're shedding the shame attached. :thumbup:

How I sympathise with it being hard to make decisions when you can feel them clearly. I have huge difficulty even choosing a book to read! Alot of the times it's so hard that I just let others make decisions for me, but then that leads to me being upset again because everythings so hard.

Thank you for being a part of this morningdove. I know how hard it can be to discuss this, so thank you. I appreciate your input more than I can say.  :hug:








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mourningdove

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #43 on: February 22, 2016, 04:29:22 PM »
Have you been able to communicate with the part of you that refuses to accept the division of your personality? I was just wondering, do you ever find yourself believing that you don't have parts?

I've been almost believing it a lot lately. It feels like that part really swung into action after I had started to get a tiny glimpse of what is going on with my inner experience, and since then, it has been prominent a lot. I haven't been able to communicate with it, because it denies its own existence and stays hidden. I only know it's there by its actions - such as, right now I feel like I am making this all up, even though I'm not.  :stars:

I'm sorry your 16/17 year old part feels abandoned and won't speak to you. :( I had something like that happen to me recently, so I know how difficult it can be.

You're doing really well  :yourock: You understand so much in regards to this and I don't mind admitting I'm a little jealous!

Thank you. I feel like I'm just barely treading water most of the time. And when I'm able to write here, it tends to be when I am most lucid and centered, so it doesn't reflect the way I am most of the time.

Thanks for making me feel less alone. :hug:














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no_more_fear

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Re: Week one questions from Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation
« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2016, 01:46:27 PM »
morningdove,

Thank you so much for saying that, that I've helped you feel a little less alone. It really made my day to think I'd helped someone, so thank you again.

nmf